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Sustainable fishing could produce more fish

Jun 10 2015 19:00

Lisbon - Global sustainable fishery policies could raise profits in the sector by $51bn a year, boost the numbers of fish in the oceans and provide more food for the world's people, research show.

The extensive research, based on data from fisheries representing 77% of the world's fish catch, showed that fish stocks could grow very quickly if responsible fishing policies are adopted.

Conservation groups

Chris Costello, from the University of California, one of the institutions involved in the research, said: "We found that conservation is a means to an end.

"This is a bit shocking and we think this is a new finding."

The findings of the research, which also involved the environmental defence group and the University of Washington, were released during a World Ocean Summit of business leaders, government officials and conservation groups in Portugal.

The researchers said their findings were based on a very large database of fisheries, 4 373 in total, compared to previous studies which looked at far fewer.

The preliminary results suggest policies to prevent overfishing, taking measures when fish stocks become depleted and enforcing laws to stop illegal fishing can quickly turn around dwindling fisheries.

Take action soon

Adopting sustainable policies could restore the percentage of world fisheries considered healthy from 45% today to 79% within 10 years and 98% by 2050. A typical fishery could recover in just nine years, the findings showed.

The researchers urged governments and businesses to take action soon to ensure fishing can be sustainable in the future and feed the world's growing population.

portugal  |  marine life  |  profits  |  fishing
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